Online exams

Online exams can take many forms, from the traditional multiple choice and short answer exams to the oral exam where the student needs to justify decisions and show reasoning.

Online exams have the flexibility to make the exam experience more engaging and contextual for the student through the use of multimedia and authentic question types.

Types of exams

The following types of online exams are scheduled by the exams team within Student Administration, Division of Students.

Type 1

Time limited, non-invigilated online exam

The task is undertaken online under ‘exam-like’ time constraints (typically 1-3 hours) but is open book, allowing students to refer to any material they can access.

Type 2

Take-home exam

The student downloads the exam paper and completes. The paper is then uploaded into EASTS. The exam is usually open book. This type of exam can be time limited or it may occur over a longer period of time. This type of exam can be invigilated or non-invigilated.

Type 3

Invigilated online exam

The task is undertaken online under ‘exam-like’ time constraints (typically 1-3 hours) and invigilated remotely. This category should only be pursued if, in consultation with your Head of School, if the above two categories are not viable.

Advantages and challenges

Before you proceed with creating an online exam, please consider the advantages and challenges below.

Online exams have offered us some advantages over ‘traditional’ paper exams:

  • Flexibility and convenience for students.
  • Different question types.
  • Possibility to introduce more variables into the structure of the exam e.g. question pools.
  • Access to analytics to improve exams.
  • Saving of time and money, such as no printing and postage costs.
  • Environmental savings e.g. no paper.
  • The use of multimedia.

Some of the challenges include:

  • Technology – technology can be an advantage but it can also have its challenges such as students having a stable internet connection. Student technology skills also greatly vary and require development to enable them to feel confident in using the technology.
  • Adapting to change as staff and learners, learn to use the online environment especially in new and novel ways.
  • Perceptions that online exams are more susceptible to cheating. Creating well designed exams can help to minimise cheating.

Writing questions

If you are writing multiple choice and short answer questions, the following information can help.

Creating an online exam in Interact2

If you are new to creating a test/exam in Interact2, the following video and information can help:

  • Create a test – Blackboard video on creating a test in Interact2.
  • Interact2 Test Tool Guide – This guide covers writing quality questions, question types, creating a test and tips and tricks.

End-of-Session exams

The exams team within Student Administration, Division of Students. manage all end of session exams, and AE and DX exams.

If you need to request an exam to be run by the exams team, help and support is available at:

  • Exams Management System (EMS) – There are support documents on requesting, preparing and uploading an exam to EMS.

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